The Most Intriguing DISNEY WORLD TIPS AND SECRETS
My, oh, my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-AY!!!!!!!!!…….WATCH OUT!!!
Oh my goodness you just ran straight into someone waiting for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train! That line must be as long as the Great Wall of China! To make matters worse the time for the ride is well over 3 hours. This is going to cut into your vacation time for sure. If only there was a way around this crazy line.
Have no fear! Disney World secrets are here!
Long lines, complex history, forgotten space, and other things that add up in a weird way. Stuff I have (and will probably again), spent hours on.
FastPass+ is one of the biggest bits of help for your Disney World vacation. This Disney World tip allows your vacation to be more enjoyable. FastPass+ is an option for you to bypass lines or waiting for a ride or attraction. Let me give you a run down if you have never heard of a FastPass + before.
You are allowed three FastPass+ passes per park for the day. You can reserve your FastPass+ online or using the mobile app. However, not every ride is going to be available due to the demand for the ride. But using the app will help aid you in making the most of your Disney vacation.
Now FastPass+ is just scratching the surface. Let’s dive deep into different tips and Disney World secrets to make your experience one to remember.
First, make sure to use the My Disney Experience app. This application will help you with scheduling and making the most of your time at Disney World. While you are at Disney make sure you have your Magic Band. This will be your key into the parks, resorts (if you’re staying at one), money (if you decide to allow charges), and FastPass +. The Magic Band is your Disney lifeline.
The Forgotten Park
Back in 1976, Disney opened a water park called Disney River Country. Located right on Bay Lake near Fort Wilderness Lodge. The theme was a rustic, old-fashioned swimming hole. In 2001, it closed for what was thought to be a short amount of time but it never reopened. Disney announced in 2005 that it was officially and permanently closed.
The weirdest thing? It still stands, almost exactly as it was left. It’s been sitting there since 2001 untouched and many have dared to sneak in, ( I will link to one of those videos below).
A 1978 ad for River Country. Image – Tom Simpson, Flickr
Disney announced that in 2019 it will begin construction on a new resort in the River Country space.
Take a video tour here.
An important Disney World tip for a wonderful experience is to learn your Disney transportation options. Disney has many options for you to get to the parks and resorts. If you are staying on the Disney property at one of the resorts, you will find it very beneficial to use their convenient AND FREE transportation.
If you are staying at one of the Disney resorts, then you are probably aware of the buses. The buses can transport you from resort to park or from park to park. However, buses are not the only means of transportation.
There is this cool thing called the Monorail. The Monorail is a form of transportation that is similar to that of a train but operates on a single rail. This form of transportation is almost futuristic and ahead of its time. The Monorail does not go everywhere on Disney property but it does stop by two parks, Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as well a few resorts.
The main headquarters for the Monorail is the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). This is located right outside of Magic Kingdom. From the TTC you can choose to either head to Magic Kingdom or to Epcot. Or you can arrive at three different resorts. They include Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, then back to either park of your choosing. The monorail cuts down on time by bypassing all vehicle traffic. This will allow for more time in the parks to catch your favorite show or ride in the nick of time.
The monorail is also temperature controlled and doesn’t ask for you to close your strollers…..You’re welcome.
Also located at the TTC, there is an option to take a ferry across Bay Lake to Magic Kingdom. Sometimes the lines can be long to get on the monorail and you need something quicker. The ferry can hold close to 300 people or more and there are usually two or three operating at a time. So if you miss one ferry the next will arrive roughly in less than 15 minutes.
The ferry ride is very picturesque and relaxing. I suggest it at least once.
If you are staying at the three previous stated resorts (Grand Floridian, Contemporary, or Polynesian) or Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or Fort Wilderness, there is another option to arrive at Magic Kingdom. If you want to arrive in style and desire a more scenic route, choose the boats provided by the resorts. However, they only go to Magic Kingdom.
If you are staying at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, then you have a boat option of arriving at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
Old Key West, Port Orleans, and Saratoga Springs have ferries to Disney Springs.
Other Disney World Hidden Secrets
As you know, Disney World can be expensive. You pay for quality so your experience is going to be wonderful but some of the best Disney World hidden secrets are the ones that put more money back in your pocket. For example, what if you could have two Disney vacations for what you think one is going to cost? I can talk about saving money all day but head over to my Disney on a Budget guide and you will find it all there.
Let’s be honest if you didn’t take a picture, did it really happen? There are going to be many opportunities to take photos on your Disney vacation. When you walk down Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, there will be a cast member taking photos and you can ask them to take your picture using your own phone. Even when you want to grab a picture with Mickey, you can ask the cast member to use your phone.
It can become extremely hot at Disney World. So make sure you take time out of your busy schedule to catch up on rest and hydration. From the hours of 2pm to 5pm, heat can reach extreme temperatures. If you’ve been running around all day your body just won’t make it. So I suggest either shopping around in air condition or enjoy sit down shows.Or head back to y our resort for some pool time or a nap. One highly recommended show is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is called Finding Nemo the Musical.
The reason for going to Disney World is to experience the parks. What is a Disney vacation without going to the parks? There is so much to do at these parks so from personal experience I will discuss tips from each park.
Disney World Secrets – Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom should be the first park you think about when you think Disney World. And it has some of the best Disney World secrets there is.
If you want the magic to come alive then get yourself to Magic Kingdom ASAP.
I remember taking my sister to this hidden phone that is one of the shops in Magic Kingdom, when you pick up the phone you can hear a mother and her daughter back some time ago. Head to the candy store, located on the right as you look at the castle, for some real fun.
One of the first Disney world secrets that I share with anyone is a book that should probably be called the Disney World Bible.
But it’s not, it’s the Unofficial Guide to Disney World.
Magic Kingdom has some of the best rides ever. Not only that, but it has a ride for every single person in your family. Whether that’s the toddler or the thrill seeker. When a Park has so many great rides there bound to have long wait times.
But guess what, with the unofficial guide to Disney world you’ll never wait the way those other people wait.
This book works so well, that I, a Disney world expert, buys it every single year.
When you arrive at Magic Kingdom and begin to walk down Main Street USA you will notice that the pathway is red. The reason for this is because Walt Disney wanted you and other guests to feel as if you were walking down the red carpet. This is to make you feel special because you are special.
Also, take notice when you are walking down Main Street USA, your nose will lead you in all directions thanks to the help of pipes pumping scents into the parks. These smells include those of baked goods.
This may the biggest Disney World hidden secret, there are underground tunnels in Magic Kingdom. Well this may not be a secret anymore, but they do exist. In order for cast members to get from place to place without guests seeing them is very important. So to make sure Cast Members are unseen, there are tunnels that run throughout Magic Kingdom. There is even a place for you to get your hair cut in these tunnels.
When you find yourself on the Buzz Lightyear ride in Magic Kingdom get your gun ready and prepare to have the highest score possible. Once you enter into the first room there will be a red robot with a claw. Fire upon these claws and you will earn 100,000 points. Continue to fire until you reach 999,999.
If you look at the house numbers in Liberty Square, add an 18 and you will know what time period each building is meant to represent.
If you are passing through Liberty Square and need to use the bathroom, keep going. There are no bathrooms present in Liberty Square because Disney’s Imagineers wanted to keep it historically accurate.
Another Disney World secret that may be known by now is the suite in Cinderella’s castle. If you enter the contest to win an exclusive night in Cinderella’s castle you will be staying in the suite and have the park all to yourself.
Disney World Secrets – Hollywood Studios
With Toy Story Land, and eventually Star Wars, Hollywood Studios is leveling up! I used to consider this park “missable,” but I don’t anymore. Previously my favorite rides were Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster, but Hollywood Studios also boasts some of the best restaurants on property and of course the show, Fantasmic.
Speaking of, Fantasmic is definitely a must see, a fun fact is that the lagoon in the show is only 1.5 feet deep.
The store, Mickey’s of Hollywood is modeled after Frederick’s of Hollywood.
The pictures in the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant that are in black frames are copies of the originals but the ones in the gold frame are from the original Brown Derby.
Disney World Secrets – Animal Kingdom
With the World of Avatar still being new to Disney World, the line to Animal Kingdom can look long in the morning. Even though there seems to be way too many people, Disney built the park for this. You won’t find yourself waiting too long to get into the park. But there is also a secret entrance into the park through the Rainforest Cafe.
However, the lines at the World of Avatar are massive. You most definitely should be using the Unofficial Guide to Disney World touring plan but long story short, get a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage and ride the Na’vi River first thing in the morning. Thank me later.
You should try to ride Kilimanjaro Safari once during the day and after the sun sets as well. It’s a whole different experience.
The Tree of Life is stunning, it consists of about 320 carved animals. What can you see?
Disney World Secrets – Epcot
As a childless adult (for now), Epcot is one of my favorite parks. As much as I tour the World Showcase, I always find something I haven’t seen before. My favorite ride is Spaceship Earth, which is soon to close for some serious refurbishments.
I love seeing the twinkling sidewalks when I am leaving Epcot. Make sure to look out for them as not many people know this happens at night.
The World Showcase is 1.25 miles long. Sheesh
When you look at the Morocco Pavilion you can actually see the back of the Twilight of Terror (you know, the elevator ride in Hollywood Studios), but decorations were added to the building to make sure it blends in.
There are natural bird deterrents on the French Pavilion’s Eiffel Tower, otherwise it would be full of birds (and poop).
There’s a wall with a mural on it in Germany, it’s not actually a wall. It covers the area where the Rhine River Ride was supposed to be.
Epcot was supposed to be a real working community when Walt Disney first envisioned it. It was going to be a community where Disney workers could thrive together and accomplish living together.
If you are passing through Epcot and come across the Chinese pavilion make your way to the pretty building to the right. You will come to a hallway and find a circular area where you can stand and hear your own echo.
More, More Disney World Tips and Secrets
Ever heard of hidden Mickeys? Well if so, then you know that these are Mickey Mouse heads hidden throughout the parks to help entertain guests. Well when you are on the ride Haunted Mansion, you can find a hidden Donald. The hidden Donald is visible on a chair that will be facing you when you’re riding through.
No matter what park you are in, or resort you are staying at, there is said to be a trash can no more than 30 steps away. So hold onto your trash and make sure it is properly taken care of, there are no excuses.
Some insider secrets for the cast members include code talk and policy. If you hear code V ever in the park then you should know what to expect. There will be throw up. Code V means vomit, so beware. If you hear a 101 then this means that an attraction is down. When you hear 102, this means an attraction is back up and working.
Also if you hear someone say they are friends with a character then more than likely they are that person who dresses up as that character. For instance, if you were to ask someone what they do at Disney, they may respond, “I am friends with Goofy.” Then it is safe to assume that they are Goofy.
Some policies that you will see while a cast member is working is the two finger or open hand point. One finger pointing is never allowed for a cast member while working. It is ingrained in their brains to not point with one finger because this can be seen as offensive.
Disney World is the happiest place on earth and it is something worth experiencing. There is so much to see. I hope my tips help you in having the most magical time on your vacation. I also hope I have entertained you with some of Disney World’s hidden secrets.